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The Problem of Medicine Racism

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is embroiled in controversy for admitting that he wore blackface at a celebration within the Nineteen Eighties and for a racist picture on his medical college yearbook web page. However, the governor, a pediatric neurologist by coaching, advised CBS he is not resigning, as a result of “Virginia wants somebody that may heal. There is not any higher particular person to do this than a physician.”

NPR spoke with one other physician, Damon Tweedy, about what message it sends to black sufferers to listen to an outstanding physician inform the nation that he has worn blackface. Tweedy is the creator of Black Man in a White Coat: A Physician’s Reflections on Race and Drugs and is an affiliate professor of psychiatry at Duke College.

The talk in Virginia is just one episode in a protracted historical past of racism in medication, Tweedy says. Many African-Individuals could feel distrustful of physicians, stemming partly from the legacy of the notorious Tuskegee syphilis experiment. This mistrust has repercussions for the health of black individuals in America as we speak, who could also be much less prone to keep on with remedies or take part in the medical analysis. Tweedy says he hopes the controversy will generate other open conversations about how bias works its approach into the well being cared system. Mara Gordon is a household doctor in Washington, D.C., and health and a media fellow at NPR and Georgetown College College of Drugs.

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